Computer Help forum

General discussion

Legal issues-selling freeware

by JosiaMFire2 / October 16, 2004 7:45 AM PDT

ok i plan on making a site that will give people the ability to pay for cds or dvds I will also give them a list of files, they can get me to burn the freeware onto the cd/dvd and get it couriered to them for money and you are thinking well why would anyone pay for freeware, well In New Zealand most people have 56k but files like Desertcombat (freeware gaming file) are 700mg and nz'ers just don't have access to these great files. I was wondering is this I need to obtain a licence and where can i talk to profesionals on legal issues?
Thanks, Josh

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Legal issues-selling freeware
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Legal issues-selling freeware
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Re: Legal issues-selling freeware
by Yew / October 16, 2004 8:09 AM PDT

Generally speaking, and I'm in no way a legal expert, you're in the free and clear provided the license for a specific program or set of files doesn't restrict redistribution.

For example, take GPLd software. It's perfectly fine for you to redistribute the software in unmodified form provided you include a copy of the GPL along with it. And generally speaking, that's the requirement most programs will have. If you make sure a copy of the license is included, it's fine.

Collapse -
Yew anchors is probably correct.
by Ray Harinec / October 16, 2004 9:50 AM PDT

It would certainly have to be illegal under NZ law in order to get prosecuted.

If you sell it as a service, downloading from the internet [not P2P sites] and burning to a CD. They are paying for the service not the contents of the CD.

Just a thought. Maybe Brandon Eng will post an opinion.

Collapse -
Re: Legal issues-selling freeware
by royc / October 16, 2004 10:18 AM PDT

I would say you will have to contact the author to get permission to distribute their software for money.
You will probably get 75% permission if you aren't trying to make a lot of money.
GPL should be no trouble but for freeware and shareware you need to read the license and contact the author. Be sure to explain about the 56K modem.

Collapse -
ALWAYS read the fine print.
by Brandon Eng / October 16, 2004 10:47 AM PDT

yewanchors is correct that any software with a GPL (General Public License) can be freely distributed, or even sold with certain provisions; e.g. it should include the original source code, original copyright holders name, terms of the license. I believe software under a GPL license can even be modified.

ALL freeware cannot be sold legally. There may be a provision that you may "freely distribute" it, but you MAY NOT sell it. That's where the fine print comes in, so I strongly suggest you read the EULA (end user license agreement) of all the freeware you intend to sell, and check the laws of NZ just to be on the safe side.

Here's a good site (I think, sorry, a bit distracted watching Yankee game) re: freeware:

You may also want to google gnu, gpl, open-source; you may also want to add "New Zealand" to the end of your search query to find hits as it applies to NZ. E.g. "gnu New Zealand". Hope you make lots of money (legally)!

Yankess Sweep Boston!

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Help, my PC with Windows 10 won't shut down properly

Since upgrading to Windows 10 my computer won't shut down properly. I use the menu button shutdown and the screen goes blank, but the system does not fully shut down. The only way to get it to shut down is to hold the physical power button down till it shuts down. Any suggestions?